“Gravitational theory never envisioned such a configuration.”
I found this at the excellent Thunderbolts site, their latest Picture of the Day. What you see is an image of the Crab Nebula taken by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, revealing what is described as “astonishing structure and energy levels”.
We are constantly being bludgeoned about the head with the notion that the universe is dominated by gravity and that electrical currents and magnetic fields (which are only 40 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity) have no significant influence on stars, galaxies, pulsars, etc. As you can tell from the above image, this is emphatically not the case. My favorite takeaway from this article is the following (emphasis mine):
A neutron star has so much matter squeezed into it that the electrons have been squeezed into the nucleus to combine with the protons there and form neutrons. The uncharged neutrons are then packed together, as congested as commuters at rush hour. The pulsations of the pulsar are attributed to a hot spot on its surface that sends a flash of radiation with each rotation of the star. Its operation is analogous to a lighthouse light, back when such lights were mechanically rotating devices, before they were converted to electrically pulsed lamps.
The Crab Nebula’s pulsar pulses 30 times a second. This would mean that the star rotates 30 times a second. This would mean that the centrifugal force is stronger than the star’s gravity … which would mean that the star tore itself apart a long time ago, except that consensus opinion crammed in additional matter to bump up the mass sufficiently to increase the gravitational force enough to hold it together.